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Klassiek - Verschenen op 31 januari 2020 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
Handel spent many years in Italy during his youth and it was here that he composed his anti-heroic comedy, Agrippina, at the age of twenty-four, before eventually settling down in London. Its immoral, corrupt and decadent plots are presented as an inherent part of daily life for the ruling class of ancient Rome, along with their insatiable desire for political and sexual power. Handel was fascinated by Italian music and composed this particular opera in less than three weeks upon the request of a Venetian theatre, where it was then performed some twenty-seven nights in a row. Such was the enormity of the opera’s success that it firmly established the young composer’s reputation in Europe as a result. The score is bursting with emotion and has so many twists and turns that even the Venetians, who were used to these kinds of storylines, were blown away. The colourful libretto includes betrayals, assassinations, feigned love and lies of every kind – all of which are elements that the American film industry delights in incorporating into the films of today under the direction of someone like Martin Scorsese or the Coen brothers. This studio recording was made in the Dolomites in May 2019, in conjunction with a European tour and features a dazzling cast led by the fierce Joyce DiDonato (Agrippina). This is DiDonato is at her very best, combining her vocals with marvellously conducted flourishes. She perfectly encapsulates the difficult, multi-faceted role by reflecting each one of Agrippina’s personality traits, from formidable intelligence and masterful manipulation to being a loving mother and wife. Joining her onstage is an exceptional cast that includes Franco Fagioli (Nerone), Jakub Józef Orliński (Ottone), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Giunone) and Elsa Benoit (Poppea), along with the II Pomo d’Oro ensemble, feverishly conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev. This can only be described as a Handel grand cru. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 20 november 2020 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet
The new album from Pierre Hantaï, who is momentarily moving away from his dear Scarlatti, is a veritable gem! The French harpsichordist opens this masterful recital recorded in January 2020 in Haarlem (Netherlands) by Nicolas Bartholomée's team and dedicated to four suites by Georg Friedrich Haendel through one of the least known, HWV 426, the first issue of Book I of 1720. Immediately, his fingers immerse this eclectic, cosmopolitan world, where neighbouring Italy and France collide seamlessly, in a resplendent sunshine. Once again, the phrasing dazzles as much as the science that the worthy heir of Gustav Leonhardt displays in grasping the diversity of character as he does in painting landscapes in changing light.Here, the Suite in F major, HWV 427 is a miracle. It is a moving, opening Adagio, with an unheard-of melancholy fullness, in which the "art of touching the harpsichord", of singing, of making polyphony shine, is carried high. So much so that the perpetual movement of the Allegro that follows may initially startle you, Pierre Hantaï's metrical regularity is astonishing, even in the more ornate repeats. However, the lines never seem tight, which makes you look at the choreography, undoubtedly reproducing the outlines of an imaginary Gavotte: an unforgettable sensation! The second Adagio is a sort of prelude, before a bugle fugue, not so distant here from the most joyful fugues of J. S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier.The focus of the recital is the spacious and rather sombre Suite in D minor, HWV 428; at first the traditional Präludium, Allemande, Courante, then suddenly, a long Air whose theme is tenderly unfolded, morphing into a strange world of "harmonic" ramblings, as if improvised, launched like rockets by the harpsichordist - a work in its own right!On all levels, an enthralling recital, to be treasured, which will give many people the opportunity to enjoy Handel's Harpsichord Suites once again. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 19 juli 2019 | PentaTone

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The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin kickstarts their Handel trilogy with this recording of the first six concerti grossi op. 6. Originally designed as attractive interludes to English oratorio performances, Handel’s concerti grossi soon gained fame as the most appealing orchestral music of the baroque era. Written in London in 1739, towards the end of his career, Handel paid tribute to the immensely popular concerti grossi of Corelli while simultaneously proving his mastery incorporating all musical styles of his times. Led by their concertmaster Bernhard Forck, the players of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin demonstrate why many consider them the best baroque ensemble of today. This first installment will be followed by the last six concerti grossi op. 6, as well as a recording of the concerti grossi op. 3.© Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 22 november 2019 | Alia Vox

Hi-Res Booklet
A tireless researcher of ancient and baroque music across all continents, Jordi Savall hadn't ever tackled Handel's Messiah before a series of five concerts in Dole, Besançon, Paris, Barcelona and Versailles in December 2017. And it's that latter concert which features on this new album. In it, we find the Concert des Nations with Manfredo Kraemer as the concertmeister and the faithful instrumentalists of La Capella Reial de Catalunya. Savall assembled a team of soloists with Rachel Redmond, soprano, Damien Guillon, countertenor (who sings parts originally written for a woman's voice), Nicholas Mulroy, tenor and Matthias Winckler, bass. This project was made possible thanks to a Franco-Spanish collaboration. The project matured in the beautiful and historic surroundings of the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, before taking off for a tour of the two countries and winding up as a Christmas present for many fans of Catalan music. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Opera - Verschenen op 26 juni 2020 | SDG

Hi-Res Booklet
Opera or oratorio? The question has remained unanswered since the disastrous creation of Semele in Covent Garden in 1744. Attacked by both opera critics and devotees, both parties accusing him of turning theatres into temples by playing his oratorios, Handel was no longer popular in the British capital. In doing so, he reconnected with Greek mythology through Ovid and his librettists in a work intended to satisfy both sides.Semele contains several large passages, including a splendid quartet in the first act, which was extremely rare at the time. But it was a complete failure and the new work was on display only for four short evenings. John Eliot Gardiner first recorded Semele at the beginning of the 80s for Erato Records, to varying degrees of success. He revisited the work in 2019 for a series of concerts given in Paris, Barcelona, Milan (La Scala), Rome and London, where the new version was recorded on 2nd May 2019.Gardiner sets the record straight in a way with this recording that does full justice to this hybrid work thanks to excellent soloists, starting with soprano Louise Alder in the title role. His great sensitivity, the rich palette of vocal colours and the touching expressiveness are all incredibly admirable. The protagonists surrounding him, mezzo-soprano Lucile Richardot, tenor Hugo Hymas, countertenor Carlo Vistoli, bass Gianluca Buratto and a few soloists from the choir, complete a coherent and flawless cast. As an untiring discoverer of new voices, Sir John Eliot Gardiner gives a beautiful impetus to this work. The Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists are as sparkling as ever. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 17 januari 2020 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet
This second volume of Handel’s Concerti grossi from Opus 6 was recorded by the Akademie für Alte Musik in Berlin under the direction of Bernhard Frock, completing the first part published in July 2019. Once again, the sound recording is magnificently natural, brilliantly capturing the venue’s spatiality and the instruments’ full-bodied timbres. Among the many great qualities of this Handel trilogy (the third edition will include the Concerti, Op. 3), the ensemble’s perfectly united playing stands out, without any of the hard or speedy gushes that so often become the hallmarks of less stylistically astute ensembles. While Handel used Corelli as a model for his concerto grosso, importing it to London, the Berlin musicians offer a calm and serene version, one which is often steeped with melancholy, the fruit of a mature composer who absorbed all the different musical styles he heard around him and turned it into something truly unique. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 december 1991 | harmonia mundi

Onderscheidingen The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 16 maart 2018 | Evidence

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 14 augustus 2020 | PentaTone

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The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin's Handel-shaped debut series for Pentatone is very much keeping up the high standards with this third installment, featuring the Opus 3 collection of concerti grossi.Published by John Walsh in 1734, but more likely to have been written during the 1710s when Handel was newly arrived in London and hopping between its opera house and the homes of wealthy patrons, this collection looks on paper like quite the hodgepodge: a two-movement concerto here, five movements there, four somewhere else.... And the reason is that they were in fact assembled from operatic overtures - and indeed the concept of an orchestral concerto was still very much in its early days back then. For instance, No. 4 was first performed as a second overture in the opera Amadigi, on the orchestra's benefit night on 20 June 1716. In fact only the final movement of No. 6 would appear to date from the 1730s, so for all these separate entities to have ended up in orchestral concerto form in the 1730s is likely to have been thanks to business savviness on the part of Walsh, tapping into Britain's huge appetite for Corelli's Concerti grossi (which Handel was influenced by), and also its burgeoning amateur music scene. Unlike Corelli's famous Op. 6 Concerti grossi though, Handel's opera-born Opus 3 collection really shines the spotlight on the woodwind, and you hear that right from the off with No. 1 in B-flat. Most gorgeously so in the central Largo, which opens with duetting recorders supported by bassoon, and which as a whole is delivered with immensely elegant sobriety and a lovely flow. Also to be enjoyed in this concerto is the smooth class and affective shaping with which concertmaster Georg Kallweit dispatches his solos in the joyful opening Allegro; the smoothness of the continuo cello's jumping figures No. 2's Largo; the delicacy of the harpsichord's filigree flourish at the end of No. 2's concluding Vivace; the fabulous neatness and bounce at every turn from the bassoons. Indeed, as with the previous two volumes, nimble neatness, class and polish are the buzzwords across these performances. Plus, in engineering terms, the same satisfying warmth, balance and blend, and pleasing awareness of the Nikodemuskirche acoustic. In short, another success notched up. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Koormuziek - Verschenen op 31 oktober 2006 | Naxos

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 2014 | Archiv Produktion

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica - Qobuzism - Hi-Res Audio
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 februari 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Opera - Verschenen op 16 oktober 2020 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet
For the French soprano Élisabeth Duparc, known as “La Francesina”, Handel composed no fewer than twelve principal roles in major works – operas and oratorios – written towards the end of his life. She took the title role in Semele, for instance, and the parts of Michal in Saul and Nitocris in Belshazzar. Nothing is known of her life: only Handel's works remain to testify to her talent and aura. They are brought to life here by the brilliant and virtuoso voice of Sophie Junker, accompanied by Franck-Emmanuel Comte's Concert de l'Hostel Dieu: sometimes mischievous ("Myself I shall adore"), sometimes penetrating ("In sweetest harmony they lived"), the soprano resurrects her model and magnificently digs out all the nuances of Handel's genius. Sophie Junker and the Concert de l’Hostel Dieu pay tribute to her here through some of her most successful roles as the composer’s muse. © Aparté
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 14 augustus 2020 | Ricercar

Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 24 oktober 2014 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 9 oktober 2007 | LSO Live

Hi-Res Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 oktober 2012 | Passacaille

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Exceptional Sound Recording
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 4 oktober 2019 | Academy of Ancient Music

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 9 maart 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 oktober 2020 | Sony Classical

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Componist

Georg Friedrich Händel in het magazine